Does definition of Fact in philosophy have any relation with time and place? If yes, then is it justified to say that "Fact is a Fact irrespective of one's awareness of it being true"?

For example:

  1. Atoms exists.

It is true, as it's conformation is base upon scientific observation or study, but if the same statement were given, for suppose in 500 A.D. or earlier, this may not be true for substantial number of people, of that time.

  1. It rained yesterday.

It is true to the truth-bearer, but to the truth-bearer from another place, this statement is false.

  • See Facts. Nov 19, 2015 at 15:06
  • @MauroALLEGRANZA Thank you for correcting my grammatical blunders.
    – vssadineni
    Nov 20, 2015 at 14:26
  • You are welcome, but @Flimzy has done it :-) Nov 20, 2015 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


The terms fact and truth live in different ontological domains: Fact is a component of reality, while truth is a possible property of propositions.

An issue either is, then it is called a fact, or it is not. A fact is the solar system with its planets. In general, it is possible to locate a fact within time and space, or - from a scientific view point - as an event in space-time.

A proposition which claims a certain fact is true, otherwise it is false. The proposition "In the year 2014 the solar system comprises eight planets" is a true proposition. Its truth does not depend on the fact whether the proposition is stated today or in 100 years. The truth or falsehood of a proposition is time-independent.

The sentence "Today it rains at Manhattan" is true when uttered at a rainy day, but false when uttered at a sunny day. This seems contradicting the statement about the time-independence of a proposition. But note that the term "today" is a variable of the sentence. Not before fixing the value of this variable, e.g. "today := 19.11.2015", the sentence becomes a proposition.

  • Thank you, your answer precisely detailed where I am wrong. I will come back with few more doubts, and I hope you wont mind.
    – vssadineni
    Nov 20, 2015 at 4:59
  • Apart from Fact being a component, what other factors comprise of reality? and on the other hand, by saying Truth: a possible property of Propositions. Where a proposition can be anything and everything, basically a question out of curiosity, and a satisfactory explanation to the same question, where language is crucial to know or to search for the very same Truth. In this context does Truth exists?
    – vssadineni
    Dec 11, 2015 at 14:20

The concept of a fact is useful but there are many ways to define the concept, and none is superior at all times. As long as practical use in boolean algebra is concerned, everything which happens inside a system is a fact.

In your examples you say, "Atoms exists" and "It rained yesterday" However, the two statements are too ambiguous to determine their validity, and the problem lies in the way you define things. For example, "It rained yesterday," if you define raining as "drops of water falling on the ground" then without specifying a particular ground area you're saying "Yesterday, drops of water have fallen on something which follows my definition of 'ground'" and if your statement holds true for you, then it will hold true for anyone else who has agreed on your definitions if your definition of truth doesn't require you both to experience the rain. If both of you operate in different systems of definitions then it's useless to ask each other if something holds true, since even if you both separately arrive at the conclusion that the statement holds true, then because your dictionaries diverge the truth will hold only in two separate systems and therefore won't be mutual.

  • Firstly pardon me if i am being rude in my approach, and my intention is not to hurt anyone. I have a doubt, how the statement "That Sam is sad is a fact" is not ambiguous, as sam could be human, a gorrila, a pet dog, or a tree, and being sad raises question like when and how long? Like wise in my example "Atoms exists" . I was trying to express the unawareness of their existence, as one cannot see them with one's naked eyes. It is just that science has proved it.
    – vssadineni
    Nov 19, 2015 at 18:41
  • And in my second example "It rained yesterday ". Where one statement holds two truths at the same time. One as true and the other as false.
    – vssadineni
    Nov 19, 2015 at 18:46
  • @vssadineni If they're saying "That Sam is sad is a fact," then in their configuration (whatever it is) it is a fact. You might argue with them that from your own configuration of things (whatever it is) it's not true, but it's useless to argue about that if you're not willing to win them over to do things the same way you do, for whatever reason. To determine truth of something one has to be in an environment in which you allow things to happen. Otherwise you'll be asking questions in a perpetual fashion. Why? Because your way of deduction (logic) requires it.
    – Joe
    Nov 19, 2015 at 18:54
  • 's It might take some time for me to digest it, but you have been helpful. Thank you.
    – vssadineni
    Nov 19, 2015 at 18:57
  • @vssadieni If you'll determine two contradicting systems being separate systems, then if you arrive at some point at a system similair to what we call mathematics and someone will come up with a little theory which contradicts what you call 'mathematics', then you'll tell the guy "No, thanks but I'll say with mathematics since it's a much larger coherent system which has been successful for me for so long". Otherwise you would have to drop mathematics for something which might turn out to not be so successful for you, or follow two contradicting systems which might be somewhat problematic.
    – Joe
    Nov 19, 2015 at 19:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.